September 27, 2010 08:47 PM

It isn’t yet October, but planning for Halloween is already in full swing at PEOPLEPets.com headquarters. We figure it’s the same for our spirited readers –but when there are so many choices on the market, preparations can become overwhelming. So we reached out to pet style expert Dara Foster, of PupStyle.com, to get her insight on this year’s hottest trends for Halloween.

“Way more people are dressing their pets up now,” Foster tells PEOPLEPets.com. “It used to be shocking, now it’s standard. It’s no longer considered a novelty to dress your dog up for Halloween.”

Here’s what’s on the horizon for Oct. 31:

Iconic Halloween Imagery. The classic motifs of Halloween will be on display everywhere this year, especially on our furballs. Expect to see lots of black-and-white looks, with skulls and spiders, along with ghosts and candy corn. Martha Stewart’s line at PetSmart has costumes that hit all the marks –there’s a mummy, a skeleton and a vampire to give your pet that back-to-basics Halloween guise.

Throwback Looks. Out this year are the Star Wars garb and superhero capes of years past. For a fresher take, try something more retro, like this rocket space suit. “I’m seeing a lot of things relating to space and travel,” Foster says. Think Mad Men era for your pets: jailhouse pet, cowboy pet and doctor pet all work.

Go Beyond Costumes. This is the first year that Foster has seen so many Halloween-related pet goodies in addition to costumes – toys, treats, collars and leashes that are as spooktacular as that ghost dog costume you’ve been eyeing. “There’s way more product on the market right now,” Foster says. “So many stores are capitalizing on the Halloween theme.” Pet owners are seeking out cool-looking items that work for Halloween but will last the whole year, like this retractable leash embellished with crystals in the shape of a spider.

Do It Yourself. Since more pet owners are incorporating their pets into their Halloween plans, furballs often become part of the costume. “There’s a lot of DIY for human-pet pairs,” Foster says. “The classic Wizard of Oz pairings, football outfits. But the really interesting costumes come from people using their own creativity.” We can wait to see what you come up with this year!

Check out our Halloween photo galleries for more inspiration!
Best of Boo! Your Spookiest Halloween Pets
Style Files: Your Pets’ Best Halloween Looks!

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